- Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births, child hospital visits for asthma
- Gulf war illness not in veterans' heads but in their mitochondria
- New way to filter light: May provide first directional selectivity for light waves
- Chronic stress in early life causes anxiety, aggression in adulthood, neurobiologists find
- Four in 10 infants lack strong parental attachments
- Inspiration linked to bipolar disorder risk
- A more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, methane emissions will leap as Earth warms
- The first insects were not yet able to smell well: Odorant receptors evolved long after insects migrated from water to land
- Dying cells in fruit fly alert neighboring cells to protect themselves: As a result, neighbors become harder to kill
- Computing with slime: Logical circuits built using living slime molds
- In mapping feat, scientists pinpoint neurons where select memories grow
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:22 PM PDT
The introduction of laws banning smoking in public places and workplaces in North America and Europe has been quickly followed by large drops in rates of preterm births and children attending hospital for asthma, according to the first systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effect of smoke-free legislation on child health.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:22 PM PDT
Veterans of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War who suffer from "Gulf War illness" have impaired function of mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of cells, researchers have demonstrated for the first time. The findings could help lead to new treatments benefitting affected individuals -- and to new ways of protecting servicepersons (and civilians) from similar problems in the future.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 11:24 AM PDT
Light waves can be defined by three fundamental characteristics: their color (or wavelength), polarization, and direction. While it has long been possible to selectively filter light according to its color or polarization, selectivity based on the direction of propagation has remained elusive. But now, for the first time, researchers have produced a system that allows light of any color to pass through only if it is coming from one specific angle; the technique reflects all light coming from other directions.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 09:36 AM PDT
In experiments to assess the impacts of social stress upon adolescent mice, both at the time they are experienced and during adulthood, a laboratory team conducted many different kinds of stress tests and means of measuring their impacts. The research indicates that a 'hostile environment in adolescence disturbs psychoemotional state and social behaviors of animals in adult life,' the team says.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 09:35 AM PDT
In a study of 14,000 US children, 40 percent lack strong emotional bonds -- what psychologists call 'secure attachment' -- with their parents that are crucial to success later in life, according to a new report. The researchers found that these children are more likely to face educational and behavioral problems.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 09:33 AM PDT
Inspiration has been linked with people at risk of developing bipolar disorder for the first time in a study. For generations, artists, musicians, poets and writers have described personal experiences of mania and depression, highlighting the unique association between creativity and bipolar disorder -- experiences which are backed up by recent research. But, until now, the specific links between inspiration -- the generation of ideas that form the basis of creative work -- and bipolar disorder has received little attention.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 08:17 AM PDT
New research indicates that for each degree that the Earth's temperature rises, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere from microorganisms dwelling in lake sediment and freshwater wetlands -- the primary sources of the gas -- will increase several times.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 08:16 AM PDT
An insect's sense of smell is vital to its survival. Only if it can trace even tiny amounts of odor molecules is it is able to find food sources or avoid enemies. According to scientists, many proteins involved in the highly sensitive odor perception of insects emerged rather late in the evolutionary process.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 08:12 AM PDT
Cells usually self-destruct when irreparable glitches occur in their DNA. Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, helps insure that cells with damaged DNA do not grow and replicate to produce more mutated cells. Apoptosis thereby helps protect and insure the survival of the organism. Scientists now report that a dying Drosophila melanogaster larvae cell alerts neighboring cells that they are in danger of suffering a similar fate.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:03 AM PDT
A future computer might be a lot slimier than the solid silicon devices we have today. Researchers have revealed details of logic units built using living slime molds, which might act as the building blocks for computing devices and sensors.
Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:01 AM PDT
Memories are difficult to produce, often fragile, and dependent on any number of factors -- including changes to various types of nerves. In the common fruit fly -- a scientific doppelganger used to study human memory formation—these changes take place in multiple parts of the insect brain. Scientists have now been able to pinpoint a handful of neurons where certain types of memory formation occur.
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